Today, most dental offices only do composite (tooth colored) fillings. The reasoning behind this is simple – composite fillings look better, and will generally serve the patient every bit as well as, if not better than, metal fillings. Having said that, though, we should point out that there are some circumstances where metal fillings could be the better choice. Keep reading to find out if you are a candidate for composite fillings.
Metal, or amalgam, fillings are indisputably unsightly. If you have metal fillings in your front teeth, you may be the ideal candidate for composite fillings to replace them. On the other hand, if your metal fillings are in your back teeth, they will not be nearly as noticeably, and you can benefit from the additional strength that they can provide. Your back teeth are the ones that take most of the pressure when you are biting or chewing, so even though tooth colored fillings are very strong, metal fillings will withstand more pressure for longer.
The disadvantages of metal fillings, however, may lead you to want to have them taken out and replaced with composite fillings. For one thing, metal fillings contain mercury, and no one really knows how much mercury the human body can safely tolerate. For another, you may experience sensitivity as the fillings expand and contract with heat and cold.
You probably will not want to have an amalgam filling done, but if the filling is in good shape and in your back teeth, you also may not want to have it replaced. You are always a good candidate for composite fillings if the decay is new, but if the back teeth are already filled with metal fillings, ask your dentist what kind of shape they are in, and whether they should be replaced.
Composite fillings are made from a combination of glass and acrylic, and contain no mercury. This type of filling looks much better than amalgam fillings, because it is colored to match the rest of your tooth. As soon as you leave the dentist office, you can bite and chew the way you always have – the tooth is ready. With metal fillings, you usually have to wait a day or two before you can use the tooth to any great extent.
Almost everyone is a candidate for composite fillings. If you grind your teeth or bite down hard, though, metal fillings may be more appropriate for your back teeth. To learn more, or to book an appointment, contact Dr. Harold Krinsky. Our office is located in Sauganash. You can call us at 773-685-9666, or request a consultation by using the form on our Contact Us page.